Tampa Bay's rivalry between its two biggest cities got a fresh dose of fun this week when former Mayors Pam Iorio of Tampa and Rick Baker of St. Petersburg dished on the cities' past for the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in downtown St. Petersburg. But simultaneously, across the bay at the Port of Tampa, current leaders were looking toward a brighter future for the entire region.
The port board's decision Wednesday to recast itself as Port Tampa Bay is aimed at sending a message internationally that one of the region's primary economic engines serves a metropolitan area of more than 2.8 million — not just a city of 347,000. The name is also meant to honor improved relationships with some of the area's more specialized ports, including the Port of St. Petersburg.
That's the right message for the 21st century. Parochial rivalries can be fun entertainment, but the region is far stronger and will achieve far more working together as Tampa Bay.